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Chapter 13

PSY 321 Chapter 13: Chap 13

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University at Buffalo
PSY 321
Erica Nuss

Chap 13: experience and awareness: humanistic and cross-cultural psychology 1. General of Humanistic Psychology 1) The premise of Humanistic psychology: to understand a person you must understand the unique view of reality, focuses on phenomenology, which comprises everything a person hears, feels and thinks. 2) The center: free will 3) The goal of humanistic psychology: to overcome the paradox by acknowledging and addressing the ways in which the field of psychology is unique. 4) The mind is fundamentally different because the human mind is aware. - two implications under this: • psychology needs to address this unique phenomenon of awareness • self-awareness bring to the fore many uniquely human phenomena that can’t be described by single objects. (phenomena: willpower, reflective thinking, imagination, introspection, self-criticism, aspirations, creativity, happiness, and, above all, free will) 2. Phenomenology: awareness 1) The central insight of humanistic psychology: one’s conscious experience of the world – phenomenology 2) immediate, conscious experience is all that matters 3) Everything that has happened to you in the past, everything that is true about you now, and anything that might happen in the future can influence you only by affecting your thoughts and feelings at this moment, the only place and time in which you exist is in your consciousness, right here, right now. 4) Only your present experience matters is the basis of free will 5) Phenomenological analysis is not a recent idea 6) Construal: the particular experience of the world; different from everybody else’s, form the basis of how you live your life, including the goals and obstacles 7) Introspection: the method that Wilhelm Wundt followed, in which his research assistants tried to observe their own perceptions and thought processes 8) The root of phenomenology: the existentialism 3. Existentialism 1) Background: a philosophical movement began in Europe in mid- 1800, arose as a reaction against European rationalism, science, and the industrial revolution. They thought they had lost touch with human experience 2) The purpose of existential philosophy: to regain contact with the basic experiences of being alive and aware, Existential analysis begins with the concrete and specific experience of a human being existing at a particular moment in time and space 3) The key existential question: What is the nature of existence? How does it feel? And what does it mean? 4) The three parts of experience • The conscious experience of being alive has three components • 1 component: biological experience – Umwelt, the sensations you feel like pleasure, pain, heat, cold • 2 ndcomponent: social experience – Mitwelt, what you think and feel as a social being, Your emotions and thoughts about other people and the emotions and thoughts. Eg: think about someone you love, fear or admire • 3 component: inner psychological experience – Eigenwelt, the experience of experience itself, how you feel and think when you try to understand yourself like introspection. Eg: watch your mind having the experience of love 5) “Thrown-ness” and Angst • “Thrown-ness”: the time, place, and circumstances into st th which you happened to be born. (early 21 century or 17 century) • Existential anxiety, Angst: the unpleasant feelings caused by contemplating the concerns of the meaning of life and how to spend yours the right way • 3 separate sensations of Angst: anguish, forlornness and despair • Anguish: if choices are not perfect you feel anguish, your choices are yours alone; also many outcomes are beyond control 6) Bad faith • You must face Angst directly; this is existential responsibility which requires optimistic toughness • Temporarily: avoid the problem – living in bad faith, head- in-the-sand approach • 3 problems living in bad faith: - to ignore the troubling facts of existence is to live a cowardly lie (humans are like mud: Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle), so it is imperative not to waste this brief period of lucky awareness - you won’t be happy even if you surround yourself with material comforts. People that choose the material path, until they own up to existential responsibility and think seriously about what’s really important, moments will continue to sneak up when least expected - it is impossible 7) Authentic existence • Definition: the alternative to bad faith is to courageously come to terms with existence, this entails being honest, insightful and morally correct • The essence of human experience: human being is the only animal that understands it must die • The terror inspired by the prospect of death can cause people to distort reality in many different ways in order to feel better • Nietzsche: becoming a superman (develop the existential strength) • Sartre claimed that only through existential analysis can people regain awareness of their freedom, the existential challenge is to do all you can to better the human condition, even in the face of life’s uncertainties. • Frankl: the best thing you can do for yourself is to do something for somebody else 8) The eastern alternative • Eastern alternative are about collectivist cultures – wrong • Anatta: key idea of Buddhism, “nonself”, the independent, singular self you sense inside your mind is merely an illusion - all the things you feel like your “self” are constantly changing, there is no unchanging soul - the illusion of having a separate and independent self is harmful - the true nature of reality is that everything is interconnected (more important than single existence) • Anicca: nothing lasts forever and it is best to accept this fact instead of fighting it • Nirvana: the essence of wisdom and leads to selfless state. You need to achieve enlightenment, which is manifested by caring for others the same as for yourself 4. Optimistic humanism: Roger and Maslow 1) General: Phenomenology is central, people are basically good (optimistic) 2) Self-actualization: Rogers • Theory: a person can be understood only from the perspective of her phenomenal field, which is the entire panorama of conscious experience. (where everything conflict) • Added aspect: people’s basic need (tendency): maintain and enhance life. The goal of existence is to satisfy this need 3) The hierarchy of needs: Maslow • Theory: A person’s ultimate need or motive is to self- actualize. But the motive becomes active only if the person’s more basic needs are met first. • Hierarchy of needs: - Career choice and employee motivation - Money is most important when you have very little. After a certain point, it begins to become irrelevant to happiness 4) The fully functioning person • A fully functioning person: lives the authentic existence and happy, more understanding of others and more accepting of others as separate individuals • Unconditional positive regard: get from people during childhood • Rogers: ONLY if u experience UPRa FFP • Maslow: anyone can become a FFP • Conditions of worth: - People value you ONLY if you are smart, pretty… - Limit your freedom to act and think, violate the existential imperatives - A person who has experienced UPR from parents and other important people in life does not develop such conditions of worth 5) Psychotherapy • The goal of Rogerian psychotherapy: to remove conditions of worth, help the client become a fully functioning person • How: therapist develops a genuine and caring relationship with the client and pro- vides unconditional positive regard - eg: “I want to kill you.” “Uh-huh.” • Discussion: Rogerian psychotherapy makes people feel they are becoming more like their ideal selves. • Influential idea: listen to the client 5. Personal constructs: Kelly 1) Personal Construct theory: Emphasizes how one’s cognitive (thinking) system assembles one’s various construals of the world into individually held theories called
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